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has departed heading for the middle east. we begin with christiane. welcome. give us a sense of this new announcement from israel. how long do you think israel is waiting to silt on this halt before it would move forward with sending ground troops in? >> well, what was reported was that a senior government official in the loop close to the talks has confirmed to me this morning that after the latest intense round of conversations and meetings between prime minister netanyahu and his inner security cabinet, which went on into the early morning hours here jerusalem time, there has been a decision taken to hold on the ground offensive. to give time, he says, limited time to make the diplomatic solution work. that is their preferred option. however, he also adds that israeli military is prepared and continues to make its preparations in case, if and when, a decision is taken to escalate to a ground war. in that case the military would be prepared to react immediately. but clearly what we're hearing and what we've been reporting over the last 24 to 36 hours is that despite the fac
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